This May 18, 2021, photo shows a woman typing on a laptop on a train in New Jersey. Credit: Jenny Kane / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine— A legislative committee in Maine has signed off on proposals to allow more public employees to access special early retirement benefits.

A pair of senators has proposed extending the benefits to employees in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory and the Maine Department of Public Safety Computer Crimes Unit.

The workers would be able to participate in a plan that allows employees to retire at age 55 if they have 10 years of creditable service.

The Maine Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee passed bills related to the changes on Monday and Wednesday. The bills still need the approval of the full Legislature.

Democratic Sens. Craig Hickman and Bill Diamond proposed the changes. Hickman said extending the benefits to more employees is “the least we can do to recognize their dedication and hard work.”